INDONESIAN SEAWEED FARMERS SUE THAI PETROLEUM COMPANY
On August 3, seaweed farmers from Indonesia sued the Thailand company PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) for more than $152 million. The lawsuit was launched in Sydney's Federal Court and would cover damages from the worst Australian oil spill, which occured in 2009 when an explosion at PTTEP's Montara drilling rig spilled approximately 30,000 barrels of oil into the Timor Sea over the course of 74 days. Lawyers arguing the case say that the spill reached as far as Nusa Tenggara Timur in Indonesia, a distance of 124 miles. The case is funded by the UK-based Harbour Litigation Funding. Previously, a lawyer has pushed for compensation for seaweed farmers in Indonesia whose livelihoods were affected by the spill. PTTEP Australasia responded to the lawsuit with a statement claiming that the company has always accepted responsibility for the explosion but that models concluded no oil reached Indonesia's coastlines and that Indonesia has experienced no lasting impact. For the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-pttep-australia-lawsuit-idUKKCN10E0M6.